Integrity (Proverbs #26)

Text: Proverbs 11:3

Integrity is a Sure Path

  • Proverbs 11:3 – Integrity is a guide that goes before you.  It is a roadmap.  It says this is the path I walk and when I’m face with a temptation or distraction, I will remember that this is the path I walk.
  • Another name for this is ethics.
    • Decision to do right before its time to do right.
    • Decision to have the right attitude before it’s time to have the right attitude.
    • Decision to speak right before it’s your turn to talk.
  • Gray areas
    • everything is a gray area these days
    • Integrity does not walk the line, but asks,  What’s right about this?  Not as many gray areas as we think.  Folks looking for gray areas generally are looking to be on the wrong side of the gray area.
      • You’ve got excuses, I’ve got REASONS.
      • You’ve got excessive debt, I’m just trying to support my family.
      • You’re bitter, I’ve got righteous indignation.
    • 2 Corinthians 6:13-16 Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged. [GROW UP!] 14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? [Where is the middle ground?] and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial?  [Can you imagine them sitting down together for breakfast?  But you and I will live that way.] or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
      • You say don’t be so judgmental.  Now that is Bible.  I didn’t write that.
  • Integrity’s guide
    • Variegated edge on coins so people wouldn’t shave off the silver.  Did that because people have no integrity.
    • Christian claims to be a Bible believer then hears Biblical advice and shoots the messenger.
      • That preacher was just so mean.  Well, was what he said right?  Then your problem is not the preacher, it is your integrity.  You have none and you need a way to justify you having no  integrity.
      • What if I said throw away your Bible, it’s worthless?  What if I said Jesus Christ is not worth your time?  What if I said from the pulpit go get drunk, fornicate, steal what you want from whoever you want?
    • Practice match preaching?

 Integrity is Safety

  • Psalm 25:21 – Integrity prevents trouble rather than fixes trouble
  • The world, the flesh, and the devil will beat you up if you have no integrity
    • Some of you are unhappy because you waver back and forth in sin and out of sin and you blame others for your misery.  Your problem is you lack integrity and you’re just getting beat up by the flesh, the world, and the devil.
    • It is wise to walk with the idea that something is at stake.  Because something is at stake
      • Some of you, you’re lack of integrity has affected Christ’s testimony.  And the ability of another Christian to witness.
      • Ever tried to witness to someone and they complained about Christians and how they are hypocrites.  You can say what you want about whether that is right or wrong, but the fact of the matter is that unsaved soul has someone in mind that walked without integrity.  That lack of integrity has had an effect on the body of Christ as a whole.
  • Integrity’s value is the result of many good decisions.  If you’ve been known to be a cheater and one day you decide not to cheat, it doesn’t mean you’re suddenly a person of integrity.
    • Hebrews 5:12-14 – they weren’t mature because they lacked integrity
      • One who leads themselves before they lead others.
      • One who doesn’t demand more than he’s willing to do.  Never start anything you aren’t willing to do by yourself.
      • One who uses what he has to benefit others
      • One who gives without strings attached.

Integrity is Strength

  • Integrity is critical in building.  Structural strength.
  • Job 2:9 – Integrity has very few desires or wants
  • The happiest people are not the ones that have the most, but want the least.  Who is the wealthiest person in America?  You immediately think of money.
  • We are fascinated by people who are immoveable, full of resolve, steadfast.  Job asks the following questions for you and I.
    • Is there a circumstance adverse enough to get you to yield to the flesh?  Martyrs amaze us because they are not moved.
    • What will it cost to get you to yield to the flesh? Judas sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver, we’re willing to do it for less than that.
    • What opportunity is convenient enough to get you to yield to the flesh?  What do you do when you think none are looking.  That’s called a breach in your character and it’s an area you lack integrity.
    • Do you have a desire strong enough?  Is there a demand of your flesh so strong that you have given in to it and no longer yield to the spirit?  That is an area where you’ve justified a lack of integrity.
  • Bob Jones Sr. “You can borrow brains but you can’t borrow character.”